Election Day is over, however the authorized mechanisms that lead from Election Day to Inauguration Day have simply begun.
Americans who went to the polls on Election Day did not really choose the president immediately. They have been technically voting for 538 electors who, in keeping with the system laid out by the Constitution, will meet of their respective states and vote for president and vice chairman as soon as the in style vote totals are fully counted and licensed.
These electors are collectively known as the Electoral College, and their votes are then forwarded to the President of the Senate, who counts them in a joint session of Congress after the new 12 months.
Here’s a timeline of what occurs earlier than Inauguration Day and key dates to look out for:
Mail-in ballots needed to be postmarked by Nov. three in each US state, however they are often acquired late and nonetheless counted in lots of states. In most instances, they needed to be acquired inside a day or two of Election Day. But in Washington state, mail-in ballots could possibly be acquired as late as Nov. 23.
Each state does it a little bit in a different way, however beginning a week after Election Day, state governments started to certify their election outcomes. Those deadlines can change in the occasion of a state recount if there is a particularly shut outcome.
Under the Electoral Count Act, this is the date by which states are supposed to have counted votes, settled disputes, and decided the winner of their electoral faculty votes. Governors are imagined to create certificates of ascertainment itemizing the winner of the election and the slate of electors.
In 2000, the Supreme Court ended a focused recount in Florida as a result of it couldn’t be accomplished by this protected harbor date. That recount wouldn’t have modified the final result of the election, however a full statewide recount may have made Al Gore president. This is when it may turn into crucial for Republicans that they management extra state legislatures than Democrats, together with in most of the contested 2020 battleground states.
In regulation, this date is the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. This 12 months it falls on Dec. 14. Six days after disputes are imagined to be settled, electors are supposed to satisfy of their respective states and solid votes for US President. They certify six units of votes and ship them to Washington. Many states have legal guidelines requiring their electors to help the winner of their state’s election and might levy fines towards faithless electors who go their very own means.
The licensed electoral votes have 9 days to get from their states to Capitol Hill.
Members of the House and new members of the Senate take the oath of workplace at midday. This is the official begin of the 117th Congress.
Members of the House and the Senate all meet in the House chamber. The President of the Senate (that’s Vice President Mike Pence) presides over the session and the Electoral votes are learn and counted in alphabetical order by two appointees every from the House and Senate. They then give their tallies to Pence, who publicizes the outcomes and listens for objections.
If there are objections or if there are, one way or the other, a number of slates of electors put ahead by a state, the House and Senate think about them individually to resolve the way to rely these votes.
There are 538 electoral votes – one for every congressman and senator plus three for Washington, DC. If no candidate will get 270, the 435 members of the House resolve the election. Each state will get a vote.
While there are extra Democrats in the House, Republicans, as of now, management extra state delegations, so it is very potential the House may decide Donald Trump despite the fact that there is a Democratic majority. It requires a majority of state votes to turn into President. The House has till midday on January 20 to choose the President. If they cannot, it could be the vice chairman or the subsequent individual eligible in the line of presidential succession.
A brand new president takes the oath of workplace at midday. If the President-elect dies between Election Day and Inauguration, the vice president-elect takes the oath of workplace and turns into President.
In a disputed election, if the House has not chosen a President however the Senate has chosen a vice chairman, the vice president-elect turns into appearing president till the House makes a alternative. And if there isn’t any president-elect and no vice president-elect, the House appoints a president till one is chosen.